Breathing
by dwilivia

(Edited Version 1.3)

Prompt 2: Mr. Unattainable

Credit: Amanduh

Prompt: Talk about how Sharpay has a crush on a certain guy (can be any guy) and how she'll never get them or she gets crushed. (Any POV)


She was watching him, again.

Blonde, pale, with an absolutely incredible tenor voice that she dances to during rehearsals and sometimes in her closet, secretly. His voice, playing over the over again in her mind, was what gave her inspiration to dance.

It was him.

She hadn't figured it out for ages why she even thought about him like this. It was wrong, so wrong. But sometimes, when his hands slide over her waist and when he's pulling her into a lover's embrace- as they often do on stage, she wishes that it would all be real.

Someday.

He's just woken up, this morning, although he should have been up half an hour ago. She's at the breakfast table, quietly spooning Cheerios into her mouth while she watches him from the corner of her eye. He's wearing his black silk boxers- his favourite (and hers, too), with a wife-beater that has seen better days. She suppresses the smile on her face as he turns around, the swish of his hips doing a sensual (and probably unintentional) sway that makes her ears flush.

It was all due to the dancing they did so often. Dance was so much part of their lives that it had been incorporated into their daily movements. Fluid, smooth waves personified through their bodies in the most subtle of ways, though it was quite plain obvious if one looked hard enough.

"Hello." He spares her a glance, half a grin, munching on a cereal bar. He sits down on the seat in front of her as she still continues to watch him, with her head bowed to her bowl. "Hi." She says, softly.

He's become accustomed to her quiet nature, she thinks. It's been like that for days. She barely talks; simply watches him from where she is- content with just this alone.

She stares at the curve of his shoulder blade and the slight but definite muscle that runs across his biceps. And with hair falling into his eyes, his dark and watery blue ones, and pale lips that move with each bite and chew, she thinks that he cannot get more perfect than this.

It was wrong the way she thought about him.

Their mother comes in, dressed and prepared for her work as a real estate agent. He greets her cheerfully, and she comes over and plants a kiss on his hair and rubs his left shoulder.

She looks away.

"Good morning, Sharpay." Her mother's previously warmer and friendlier approach with Ryan had turned to a shuddering, cold tone for her.

Sharpay barely looks up to greet her back, instead, pushes out her chair and places her bowl in the sink, before sauntering out of the dining hall.

Once outside, she can hear her mother sigh and say, with disapproval laced in her voice, "I don't know what's gotten into that sister of yours."

And her heart nearly breaks as Ryan replies, "Neither do I."


She was watching him, again.

Fourth period Calculus rolls by, and she regrets her decision, at the beginning of the year, to sit with Zeke Baylor rather than with him. Zeke talks too much, tries too hard, and it's all very unappealing, she thinks. But Zeke is nice and as far as she tries to distance herself from him, she still pretends to be interested, so that she can give an excuse when she's caught staring at Ryan.

But today she frowns at the boy who sits on her left. She realises his hair isn't blonde, like Ryan's, nor does it fall over in locks like Ryan's did. His eyes aren't the clear, dark blue that Ryan's were, and neither is his skin pale and soft like Ryan's. Zeke's hands are rough when she holds them in her own, probably from years of basketball and baking, and she had rather they were lanky and warm, like Ryan's always were.

Zeke hasn't said a word yet, and it is already twenty minutes into class. Usually, he would be up telling her about one of his baking experiments gone wrong, or about the different uses for artificial chocolate sweetener. But today, Zeke is stone silent.

Not that she minds much, but she felt awkward with the draggy stillness hovering around them.

She decides to break the uncomfortable silence by turning to Zeke, and as she opens her mouth to comment on how lovely the weather is, he stops her by saying, "I know you love him."

She freezes, visibly take aback by his words.

"Excuse me?" She half laughs, nervously. She pulls at her skirt, something she routinely does when she's anxious, and most recently, when she's around Ryan.

Zeke's dark eyes dart across her face, and she can almost see herself reflected in them. "You're in love with someone else, aren't you?"

Her lips fall open slightly, and she doesn't dare let out the breath she is holding. "I don't know what you're-"

"Troy Boltondamnnit!" Zeke explodes in a fierce whisper, and she's shaken by his sudden outburst. "Goddamnit, Sharpay, I see you stare at him every, single day..."

"Troy Bolton?" She whispers, and his name is faint on her lips. She glances over to look for the basketball star, but instead, her eyes are caught on Ryan.

He wears a crisp shirt today- a white and blue stripped one that brings out the inner hues of his eyes, and it looks so damn good on him.

But her careful scrutiny of the blonde is quickly cut short by Zeke's dry drawl, "You're doing it again."

She turns toward him and gasps, before suddenly being assured that Zeke isn't talking about Ryan. She turns to look again, and this time, she sees Troy Bolton's blond-brown head stick out from beyond Ryan's full blonde one, and he's chewing on a fingernail, trying to solve a Logarithm.

Sharpay's mind is quick to work. She cannot possibly tell Zeke the truth- he'd never believe her. That much she knew.

She turns away, trying to recall the one instance, a long time ago, when she played an unfaithful lover (to Ryan, of all people). She reenacts the whole scene again, though cutting out the fainting and wailing bits. "I'm sorry." She says sullenly. Her voice had dropped a notch, and the way she causes the words to tremble a little makes the whole act seem real.

Darbus would be proud, she almost smirks, lapsing into a sudden quiet as she fathoms the boy's next move.

Zeke buys her act, and proceeds to ignore her for the rest of the period. But by the next lesson, he's asked the teacher for a switch of seats. Not that she hadn't been expecting something like this to happen- Zeke had always been petty like that.

She finds herself placed next to Ryan (ironically) - all golden, oddly soft and quiet, and smelling like the spicy, warm cologne he often wears- the compilation of a John Varvatos' Leather Essence with a touch or two of Calvin Klein Escape Aftershave.

Very chic, she thinks, and it makes her almost afraid to breathe, for fear it might just all blow away.

The scent must have gone to her head- she's starting to feel so dizzy around him. She quietly does her work, hoping to ignore this churning in her stomach and the giddy feeling in her head, and occasionally, her fingers brush his. Once or twice she stops and withdraws her hand, and he looks up and asks her what's wrong. She would proceed to shake her head, and he would go back to his sums, but her gaze will linger for just a little while as a faint smile crosses her lips, before she picks up her pencil to continue.

He's so near to her, she thinks she could almost taste him.

Thoughts fill her head- ones that make her blush and squirm around in her chair. It is all wrong, wrong, but she doesn't care.

In her daze, she drops her pencil, and it rolls under his seat. It stops near his black leather shoes, and he notices almost immediately, bending down to pick up her pencil for her as though it isn't a big deal.

His eyes gaze out at her as he hands her the pencil, and she takes it with a nod of her head. He smiles, and so does she, but then the teacher raps on their desks and orders them back to their sums.

She flushes, again, as the whole class turns to stare at them curiously, and she feels like she's been caught. It's all so wrong, and her blush deepens under her classmates' stares. Before long, they turn back to their work, busily scribbling down the next part of their workings, some pressing the buttons of their calculators for a Logarithm solution. A couple of them steal a few back glances just to make sure, and it causes her to feel unease, coiled in the pit of her stomach.

It is wrong, wrong.

But she was watching him, again.

And he hadn't noticed.


At night, it is raining heavily. Lightning races across her window and thunder shakes her awake for the third time that night. She's rubbing her sleep-worn eyes, humming a tune to ease herself back to sleep. It was Ryan's favourite as a child- this light and whispered melody, and it calms her a little inside.

It is a reckless storm, and the pounding of rain against her window frightens her.

She jumps out of bed, creeping across the hallway where Ryan's room is. She knocks on his door, causing him to stir slightly, and soon after, he's sitting up, looking at her with his hair standing up on one side.

She giggles- she can't help it, and he groans a little as he realises the howling winds outside, and pats the side of his bed. A welcome invitation for her because he knows about her fear of the storm.

She crawls in and tucks herself under the warm sheets as Ryan pulls the covers over his shoulder on his side of the bed. He quickly falls back asleep, snoring gently, and she lies there, listening to his breathing.

Through the night, even though she doesn't sleep much, she just stays there and listens. Ryan talks, whispered murmurs that seem almost nonsensical, but are actually lines of lyrics that they've rehearsed to, over and over again. They're jumbled up into a mess, and she delights herself in picking out words and phrases and translating them into the song he actually wants to sing out.

She wonders about him, wonders about the esoteric reality at hand; she cannot have him. What would our parents say?, she thinks. What would everyone at school think?

What would Ryan think?

She sighs. It is all so confusing.

She turns to face him, and so close is their proximity of each other that she can feel his breaths fanned out on her cheek.

"Sharpay." He's saying, over and over again. She jerks a little, thinking that he's caught her staring (again). But he hasn't, and his eyes are still shut and his breathing normal, but still, he says her name.

Sharpay, Sharpay. Sharpay.

She listens for a moment, comforted in the knowledge that yes, it was her name that he spoke of tonight. Not Kelsi, not Gabriella... no, not even Troy Bolton (as many rumors around East High had proposed).

It was her name.

But the moment passes as he stops talking, instead, falling into a deeper slumber, and the snoring continues, so light that it seems almost obsolete.

But she holds fast to every breath, every move that he makes. And she is right there, clutching the blankets tightly under her white knuckles, ready to catch any other words that tumble from his lips in his sleep.

But he is quiet the rest of the night. Still, she doesn't mind- content, after all, with just this alone- his soft, definite breathing.

So she falls asleep, after a while, and her fingers reach out beneath the covers to grasp his own lightly. They're lean and fit perfectly into hers, and she intertwines them and presses back into the pillow next to his, smiling.

But before sleep overtakes her, she hears a voice echo in her mind- a song. It's Ryan's voice- she can distinctly tell, and she can feel a pair of soft lips press against her ear as he sings softly to her.

'Cause I am hanging on every word you say and


Even if you don't want to speak tonight


That's alright, alright with me...


'Cause I want nothing more than


To sit outside Heaven's door


And listen to you breathing...


Is where I wanna be yeah...

Her eyes prick with tears, even though they're closed. She wants to open them, to be able to see if it is really Ryan who is singing to her- or if it is just another figment of her imagination.

Stop it! She wrestles with her mind. She wants to be rid of this... this seemingly unnatural desire for him.

She cannot have him. That much she knows.

He was her brother. It was wrong... so very wrong.

She doesn't want to cry over this silly matter, but simply, as if it's any consolation, she whispers, just loud enough so that the voice who sings to her can hear. "I love you."

She lets a sad smile cross her face as she curls into the blankets, only dimly aware that her fingers are still caught loosely in his firm grasp.

And this time... he's watching her (even though she doesn't know he does it).

He was watching her.

Again.


A/N: RELOADED AGAIN! (ran it through spell check and found a shit-load of mistakes)

Er. My first ever... one sided Rypay, I guess. It really depends on your interpretation (which I will leave to you).

I've always adored Sharpay and Ryan (separately and together), and I guess while this piece may not be really fantastic, I've lived out my dream (for one fic) and I guess, for a first time Rypay fic, it's quite alright.

Written for TGIF512's fic challenge.

Lyrics are from Lifehouse's song, Breathing. Standard disclaimers apply- aka: I do not own HSM, I do not make profit from this silly piece of fiction... etc, etc.

Oh yeah, since a ton of people have been asking me for a sequel… I've begun to consider doing so…

If you're lucky, you'll see it by December.